April 27th, 2006

Thinking aloud about Idiot Plots.

"James Blish has said that much of sci-fi relies on Idiot Plots, defined as stories 'kept in motion solely by virtue of the fact that everybody involved is an idiot.'"

(Gregg Easterbrook, two-thirds of the way down the very long page http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=easterbrook/060425)

It occurs to me that it might be more plausible to have characters do unfathomably dumb things because they're crazy.

But maybe it's hard to write fictional characters who are both sympathetic and insane? Wait, I guess that's Bridget Jones.

Okay, maybe the readers and viewers of SF don't identify very well with people who act irrationally? Or at least not as well as the readers of some other genres?